The streets of downtown Denver hosted two big events on Saturday night: the third annual March for a World Without Police and the seventh Denver Zombie Crawl. But there were times when the two spectacles seemed to combine into one -- an unfortunate turn according to some Zombie Crawlers, who felt that the police protesters (six of whom were arrested) executed a semi-takeover of the yearly tribute to the undead. See photos and get details below. After the event ran its course on Saturday night, the website for the Denver Anarchist Black Cross posted the following:
Tonight was the third annual Denver march against police terrorism. The march was attacked early on, as demonstrators and police contested control of the streets. Demonstrators fought to hold ground, and a brief but brutal street fight erupted. The crowd then marched, mostly on the sidewalk, to downtown, and then joined the massive crowds on 16th Street Mall who had gathered for the annual Zombie crawl. Throughout the night both crowds merged and joined, and proceeded to harass the police for most of the night. All-in-all there were at least eight arrests and several injuries. We need funds to help bond our comrades out! Please consider donating to us to help us get our folks out!
Reached this morning, Detective John White, spokesman for the Denver Police Department, contradicted the DABC's math. According to him, the number of arrests topped out at six, with citations given to individuals for "refusing lawful orders to remove themselves from the streets, because they were impeding and/or blocking traffic." Reports about a stabbing during the march have been circulating on social media, but White says the DPD has no knowledge of such a crime taking place.
White adds that the anti-police rally "was unpermitted -- meaning they did not have a permit for the march." (The Zombie Crawl organizers secured permits.) As for the number of people taking part, he estimated it at 35 protesters, with a few more joining the group as it progressed from Sonny Lawson Park to the 16th Street Mall.
The crowd certainly looked larger than that, as can be seen in photos taken by our Brandon Marshall -- but that's because the protesters intersected on the mall with folks taking part in the Zombie Crawl. "Let's not call it 'merged with,'" White cautions. "These were two totally different activities."
True enough -- but as the photos show, some Zombie Crawlers appear to have taken part in protesting against police. Others, however, were unhappy with the timing that brought the events together at the same time and place, as indicated as posts on the Occupy Denver Facebook page. (The march was not an official Occupy Denver event, but some members raised funds there, and others are believed to have taken part.) Here's one telling note:
I come to you with a compromise. How about this: you post an apology to the wall of Denver Zombie Crawl for turning it into a soapbox, stating clearly that the two gatherings should have been kept separate and unrelated for the safety of attending families and for the sake of having a Zombie Crawl next year, and I as well as many others angered by your action will donate what they can.This should not be difficult and will avoid future friction from those that want to support you but disagree with your decision to bring the front line to 16th. How does that sound?
Added another poster:
I agree completely.... Last night was my first Zombie crawl, and I felt robbed. Don't get me wrong, police brutality needs to come to an end, but last night was not the time or place to riot. It was kind of selfish and inconsiderate.
As acknowledged in the subsequent comment string, no riot took place, but the interactions between marchers and police certainly were passionate at times. See more examples below, and click to see the complete March For a World Without Police slide show.
Continue to see more photos from Saturday's March for a World Without Police and Zombie Crawl. Continue to see more photos from Saturday's March for a World Without Police and Zombie Crawl. Continue to see more photos from Saturday's March for a World Without Police and Zombie Crawl. Continue to see more photos from Saturday's March for a World Without Police and Zombie Crawl.
More from our Follow That Story archive: "Denver Zombie Crawl 2011 doubled previous local total, sets new record (PHOTOS)."